Photographer Russell Holliday got the bright idea to take a strike mission to Baja’s blistered desert edge while in an Icelandic snowscape, of all places. Last December, filming with Chris Burkard on his newest film project, Holliday met Timmy Reyes and discussed the possibility of a trip once they traveled back to the United States. Months later, in April, Reyes called up Holliday to say that the sand was forming just right at a particular Baja pointbreak, just in time for the season’s first south swell to hit the zone square. According to Reyes, it would be like J-Bay walls, complete with a grinding barreling section at the bottom. Alex Gray was onboard. Was Holliday in or out?

You’ve watched the edit, filmed by Taylor Curran. Now read above and follow the trip in Holliday’s own words and photos to see just how good things can get when you take a leap of faith and take aim at what lies at the end of a dusty Mexican trail.